I am so confused about which iMac to buy

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Cyborg21, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Cyborg21 macrumors 6502

    Cyborg21

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    #1
    First of all sorry for my bad english, it's not my native language. I want to buy an iMac but I'm not sure which iMac I want to buy. is 27 inch too big? I will probably get Parallels to play some windows games such as Sims 3 (with expansion packs), Sims 4 (2014) (with expansion packs), League of Legends, GTA 5 (Maybe) (If they relase a PC/Mac version). Also I will buy a Apple USB superdrive. I will buy it in March but I checked prices, iMac with 3.4 GHz i7 processor, Apple USB superdrive, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5 and iWork was a little bit expensive. So, Do I need an i7 processor and 2 GB GPU? If I buy an iMac with 1 gb GPU and i5 cpu, can I change them later? Also I think I will get a 27 iMac beacuse, It has a bigger screen and removable RAM.
    But do I need an 27 inch iMac? Is it really worth of 2,467 USD? or Should I buy 1,999 USD model? Thank you.
     
  2. richard13 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Mill Creek, WA
    #2
    You have many questions. I'll see if I can help answer them.

    27" iMac? It's really up to you and your pocketbook, space/living arrangement. Back in 2010 when I bought my current iMac I had the same question and wondered if the 27" was too big. I decided to go for it and I'm very happy I did. Yes, it seemed very big at first but now I feel like it's a good size. You will appreciate the extra screen real estate especially in gaming. That said, the 21" iMac would work just as well. It's just smaller.

    Get the best GPU combination you can get (or afford) as it is not upgradable later on. This is especially true with gaming.

    You could get away with a lesser CPU as most games are not CPU bound. My personal preference is to max this out at purchase as well since it is not really upgradable later on.

    System RAM can be expanded later on if you go with the 27" iMac and you can almost always find a better deal than what Apple charges elsewhere. So go with the base RAM and add more later if needed on your own. For the 21" iMac, you are locked in so get as much RAM as you think you will need at purchase.

    Although Parallels says you can game within their environment I wouldn't recommend it. It's much better to either run a game natively in OS X (if it exists) or to set up Boot Camp for Windows and run your game(s) that way. Parallels is a great product and I use it myself to run non-gaming applications seamlessly on my iMac but I wouldn't try to game in there (unless it was a very old game or not graphics intensive one)
     
  3. Cyborg21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cyborg21

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    #3
    So, you think getting an iMac with i7 and 2gb GPU is better, also I heard that Bootcamp takes half of hardware, is it true? If I install bootcamp and create a windows machine than uninstall bootcamp will it cause damage to my iMac? is bootcamp free or where to buy it? Do I really need an Apple Superdrive? is there a free alternative to iWork? (I'm asking lots of questions :confused: )
     
  4. richard13 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Mill Creek, WA
    #4
    If it were me, I would get the i7 with 2GB GPU. With "sealed" Macs like the iMac I try to get the best CPU/GPU that seems reasonable. But I've seen benchmarks that show the i5 is rather capable as well.

    No, I currently have a Boot Camp partition that is 100GB of a 1TB HDD. It's been a while since I've set it up but I remember there being two options, one to take have and one to be something smaller (like mine). Boot Camp is part of OS X so it is free. However, you will need a Windows license to run Windows. This is the same if you wanted to run Windows in Parallels.

    In my opinion, you don't need a SuperDrive. I can count on one of my hands how many times I've used the one in my iMac. However, if you will be ripping a bunch of CDs or you think you'll want to write a bunch of CDs/DVDs it's a must have.

    I believe that iWork is now free with new Macs. I recall seeing something like that recently. Maybe it will be free soon or something?
     
  5. Cyborg21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cyborg21

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    Sep 2, 2013
    #5
    Last question: How can I install Games like Sims 3 without a Apple Superdrive
     
  6. iamgalactic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    #6
    Unless you have another mac to share the Superdrive from, you will need to buy an external. External usb2.0 DVD drives are very cheap - check out Amazon.
     
  7. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #7
    Can't you download them from Origin?
     
  8. Nyy8 macrumors 6502a

    Nyy8

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    90% of games you can find as digital downloads. I know EA offers the sims 3 as a download.
     
  9. richard13 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Mill Creek, WA
    #9
    When I bought Sims 3 I got the DVD that would run on Windows and Mac. At some point I registered my game and it became downloadable via Origin (EA's platform for delivery of games) so now I don't need the SuperDrive to run Sims 3 anymore. I'm not all that clear how I did this since it was so long ago. I'm sure if you contacted EA support they would let you know.
     
  10. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    I've had two 27" iMacs and my next one will also be a 27". I enjoy having the desktop real estate since I can have more applications open (I actually have a 27" Apple Thunderbolt Display connected to my iMac for even more screen space).

    Probably not.

    I buy the top-end i7 because I do a lot of video conversion (in Handbrake) and the extra speed and CPU threads benefit that task.

    I bought a refurbished 2011 iMac so even though it was advertised with 1GB of GPU RAM it came with 2GB, but if I was customizing my own, I'd stay with 1GB since I don't need more.


    Realistically, no. You can change the CPU, but it would be a major undertaking and would invalidate your warranty. As for the GPU RAM, you can't change it.
     
  11. Cyborg21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cyborg21

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    Sep 2, 2013
    #11
    Umm... What does Storage/Drive do? is it important?
     
  12. Cyborg21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cyborg21

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    #12
    Also does new iMacs use USB 3.0 or 2.0 and If they are using 3.0, can I use USB 2.0 super driver?
     
  13. Cyborg21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cyborg21

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    Sep 2, 2013
    #13
    And which storage should I buy? Fusion, Flash or ATA
     
  14. automan98 macrumors member

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    Apr 25, 2005
    #14
    I think 27" is too big for most people. I would look at other drivers. I purchased an external Samsung from Amazon for 1/2 the price and it works great for read/write. Don't feel compelled to buy iwork. There's OpenOffice and other free options like Google. Based on what you've said above the i5 would probably be fine. If you're running Parallels you should go with 16 GB of RAM (especially with the 21.5 since it's not easily upgradable).
     
  15. richard13 macrumors 6502a

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    Mill Creek, WA
    #15
    Storage is long term memory. When you turn your computer off or reboot it the contents of memory are lost. If you want to keep something you need to store it in something like a hard drive. It's pretty important for you to have at least some sort of long term storage.

    I'm pretty sure they are USB 3.0. Yes, it's backward compatible with USB 2.0 devices.

    This is really pretty much up to you. Personally, I really like SSD because it is quite and super fast. But Fusion is a good way to go too. It's basically a HDD and an SSD fused. You get the benefits of a larger storage device with some of the speed of an SSD. The pure HDD route is also fine. If you are trying to save money and have no particular preference go with the HDD.
     
  16. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #16
    What are you using the iMac for may I ask? I only see games. Based on that, get a PC, or a PS4. A PC with a similar GPU as a Mac is half price at least, and then you also get a higher framerate because of DirectX vs Open GL.
    If you like Mac for all other stuff: get a Mini, a PS4 and a nice screen that works on both like a Dell U2713HM and still save money.
     
  17. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #17
    Half price at least is true ;) I doubt you will be able to build an equivalent PC for much less - already CPU+GPU+RAM+mainboard cost $800. Add the rest and you are suddenly looking at price close to $1500 - without a monitor. Of course, with a PC you can always invest a bit more and get a better GPU (the logical choice would be the $650+ GTX 780), cheaper SSD etc.
     
  18. Cyborg21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cyborg21

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    #18
    I rarely play games, but sometimes I play League of Legends. I want an iMac beacuse, their design is very beautiful, they don't have lots of cables (I use a PC right now and I'm really tired of cables), they have a nice and big screen, I prefer linux or OS X to windows, also I can use bootcamp or parallels to run windows programs. Also my computer is really old but I'm not sure what to buy yet.
     
  19. iRemol macrumors newbie

    iRemol

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    Bialystok, Poland
    #19
    Hi guys,

    In Poland, basic model of iMac costs not 1299$ but 1920,66$, it`s normal in every Apple product. I am a student, so I am not able to buy 27inch model, only 21.

    Extra cost for Fusion Drive is now 256$.
    Is it worth?
    It`s quite a hard decision. I want to be sure that basic model with Fusion Drive 1TB will be enough for me for next 2 years until I will finish my studies. Or maybe, it is better to save my money for studies etc, because Fusion Drive is not necessary for average user.

    I`m gonna use iMac only for Internet, videos, games - only StarcraftII and Diablo3 because I`ve got PS3. So I think that Iris GPU is enough for these kind of games.
    iMac without FDrive is really so slow as everyone says?

    Thx in advance.
     
  20. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #20
    As a follow-up, iFixit has confirmed the CPU is soldered onto the mainboard in the 21" model and cannot be replaced. It is still in a socket on the 27" and can be.

    The GPUs are soldered onto the mainboard with both models.
     
  21. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #21
    Techinically not true. All Iris Pro CPUs are BGA and soldered to the motherboard. This isn't some "Apple invented requirement" beyond the choice of selecting the Iris Pro for the entry level model. (all other system vendors will be soldering Iris Pro CPUs to their system boards too.) If just avoid the Iris Pro CPU then will avoid the soldered CPU issue. There are non Iris Pro options for the 21.5" iMac ( 2/3 of the possible CPUs configurations for 21.5" are socketed. )


    Since pragmatically the Iris Pro has the GPU, that entry model is aligned with just this one rule of thumb just like the others.
     
  22. rittchard macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    #22
    If you go with the iMac, definitely go with the best you can afford, you won't regret it. The 27" monitor is absolutely gorgeous, very few monitors out there of this quality. Once you've experienced it, it's hard to go back to anything else. Go for the best processor and graphics chip if you can afford, this will improve the lifetime as you can't upgrade these yourself. Memory/RAM and storage you can upgrade over time, and there are cheaper options. Personally I'd recommend the 1TB Fusion Drive as a good starting option to tradeoff between performance and cost.

    In case it wasn't clear, Bootcamp is included for free - BUT you'll need your own copy of Windows in order to use it, so that may or may not be free. Once you use Bootcamp, the machine functions exactly as if it were a PC. You can theoretically use it as a PC 100% of the time if you want to use it as a PC gaming machine (that's what I do). Also, it's completely up to you how much hard drive space you devote to Bootcamp, it's part of the setup. The default happens to be half but you can adjust it. If you decide you don't want it later, it's fairly easy to remove/reformat as well.

    League of Legends has a native Mac mode so you don't have to worry about that. But other games that aren't Mac native, you'll likely want to use Bootcamp/Windows.

    I've never used it but there are "OpenOffice" options such as the below:

    http://www.openoffice.org/product/index.html
     

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